Ivica Tadijanov back as more complete and exciting fighter!
Thirty months have passed since young light heavyweight from Osijek, Croatia, Ivica Tadijanov, last appeared in the FFC ring. After that, he disappeared for a while to return as a complete and better fighter, according to his own words.
Tadijanov surprised everyone at FFC 11 in Osijek, almost three years ago, when he defeated Marcin Prachnio in his second MMA fight. Prachnio later became the FFC champion, while Tadijanov tried to continue his career through the FFC Futures events where he was defeated by Martin Batur in finals. That defeat made him change his approach.
A little less than a year later he returned to the ring and scored two wins. His talent did no go unseen and FFC invited him back to fight at FFC 29 in Ljubljana this April.
After almost two and a half years you fight again in the FFC. Can you tell us what was going on from the FFC Futures until now? You had two fights in the meanwhile, but that was really just a warm up for the real thing, right? But what happened in 2015?
Due to my poor performance at the FFC Futures, I decided that I will not fight until I improve enough in all aspects of MMA. Simply, I did not want to be a one-dimensional fighter who is forced to rely only on one skill, so whole 2015 passed in training. So, I did not fight, but I did not take a break. I wanted to get my stand-up skills to a decent level and I believe that I have succeeded.
You did your FFC debut against Marcin Prachnio. You won and absolutely dominated, but after that your careers went in opposite directions. He became FFC champion, now he is waiting for a title match at ONE FC and his score is 12-2. Actually, what do you think when you watch his wins knowing that you dominated him?
I do not think that his victory was some kind of great success. I am not bothered with the way he continued his career, instead I concentrate on myself and look forward to the future.
That defeat at the FFC Futures finals must have been a milestone for you. It just was not you. What happened?
I was quite melancholic in that fight for more than one reason that distracted me. I was not focused. I did not capitalize from the situations that I’m usually good at. To put in simply, it was not my day. Batur was better. That’s why I decided to change my approach and I trained even harder focusing on the things that really matter to me.
Did you expect this FFC call? When we talked earlier you said that one of your problems is the fact that you are not flashy and exciting as fighter. Did you change anything in this field?
I did not expect this call and I believe that I am more exciting now as a fighter since I improved in stand-up. I just adjusted my grappling to MMA and I believe I am more complete now which will make me more interesting to fight fans.
Can you tell us more about your opponent since many fans do not know anything abut him? What are his advantages and disadvantages?
I know very little about Ivan Erslan. I know he was an amateur Croatian champion in MMA, that he is undefeated in his three professional fights and that he trains at American Top Team in Zagreb. He is also somewhat taller and bigger than me. So I know quite little about him. I don’t know what his advantages are, but I will not underestimate him.
What are you ambitions in the FFC-in now when you are back? Jeremy Kimball might vacate the title if he signs with the UFC for more fights. Did you set your eye on the belt?
Given that Kimball got a chance to fight for the title after only one win and that I beat former FFC champion Marcin Prachnio, of course I expect a title shot in case I win now.
Who did you prepare with for this fight? Did you in any way change your team since you last match at the FCC?
I’m preparing for this fight almost with same people as before. My stand up coach is Matija Hojsak, my strength and conditioning coach is Marko Kutleša from Tauros Conditioning. I do trainings at HK Osijek, as I always did and my sparing partners are Saša Milinković, Goran and Damir Vidaković, Miro Erkapić, Nino Vladušić, Luka Jurić and Petar Spajić. In addition, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to spend some time with Cro Cop Team practicing with Mirko Filipović and Satoshi Ishii. I think that it greatly contributed to my progress.
You work a lot with Marko Kutleša when it comes to strength and conditioning which could be your biggest advantage.
My opinion is that conditioning is as important as the technical and tactical preparations. I think it is useless to have good technical and tactical preparations if you ignore conditioning and you cannot survive more than one round. Marko Kutleša is a top expert who follows the latest trends of physical conditioning and working with him I feel that I am getting better and better.
We know you’re a student, how things are going in the academic field and in private life?
I am a student at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology in Osijek. This is my last academic year, and I am supposed to graduate this September and leave the worries behind. It is very difficult to fit in full-time study and two training sessions a day and this is my opportunity to thank my professors for their understanding and forgiving me I’m missing a lot of classes because I train a lot.
As for my private life, the new thing is that I live with my girlfriend Daria now and she is my biggest support.